Thirteen openly gay candidates are
competing in Tuesday's Democratic primary in Illinois.
Over the weekend, attorney
Jacob Meister announced he was dropping out of the Democratic primary
for U.S. Senate and threw his support behind State Treasurer
Alexi Giannoulias, who supports gay marriage.
Thirteen candidates vying for various
positions remain, making the 2010 primary the gayest yet for Illinois.
The most exciting race is the campaign
of gay rights activist Jim Madigan for the Illinois State Senate. If
elected, he would become the first openly gay senator in Illinois
Madigan's last job was at the helm of
the gay rights group Equality Illinois. He also worked as a staff
attorney for Lambda Legal for three years.
At his campaign website,
JimMadigan.com, he includes
his gay activism experience in his resume: “I have served my
community as a civil rights attorney, a leader in LGBT nonprofit
organizations, and an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago
Law School. My career is dedicated to basic principles of fairness
and equal justice under law.”
Madigan, 35, is running for Illinois'
7th Senate District, which includes parts of Chicago's gay
neighborhoods. His campaign headquarters is located above gay bar
Crew Bar and Grill at 4802 Broadway. June LaTrobe, a transgender
woman, serves as his chief of staff.
Seven openly gay candidates are looking
to serve in the Illinois House, but only two won the endorsement of
Fund, a group that backs openly gay candidates. Victory Fund
officials have said in the past that they support viable candidates
who happen to be gay.
David Schroeder wants to represent
Illinois' 5th district, a rectangular ward that includes
portions of downtown Chicago.
“Nothing is more fundamental to human
freedom than the right to decide how to form a family,” Schroeder
says on his website, PeopleForSchroeder.com.
“I support full marriage equality for same sex couples, and
support any measure that gets us closer to this goal. This is a
principle of basic justice for me, but it's also good policy.”
Schroeder has won the endorsement of
gay weekly Gay Chicago Magazine: “We strongly endorse David
Schroeder for state representative and hope, for Illinois' sake, that
voters in the 5th district agree.”
Gay political group Stonewall Democrats
is also backing Schroeder's run.
In the 11th district, Ed
Mullen is asking Democrats to put him on the November ticket. The
district includes a small portion of Boystown, Chicago's gay
“Social justice is an important
component of any democratic government,” Mullen says at his
campaign website, VoteEdMullen.com.
“I support laws and policies that strengthen the social safety
net, including universal health care and improved social services for
people with disabilities and seniors. I also support progressive
social values such as a woman's right to choose, marriage equality,
and environmental protection.”
Like Madigan, Mullen also has a rich
history of gay activism and community involvement. A civil rights
lawyer, he currently serves as managing attorney at a non-profit
dedicated to promoting the rights of people with disabilities.
In making their endorsement for Mullen,
gay weekly Gay Chicago Magazine said, “We are proud to
endorse Ed Mullen for Illinois state representative and urge the
voters of the 11th district to do the same.”
The Victory Fund has also endorsed the
campaigns of Todd Connor for Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water
Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and Linda Pauel for judge on
the Cook County Circuit Court.